BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Eighty people started the week as HSBC employees. They were transferred and became Capital One employees - and now they're unemployed.
The hope was that Capital One coming in to Buffalo and scooping up HSBC's credit card operations would prevent layoffs. Unfortunately for these 80 workers, that's not the case. The workers learned they're losing their jobs, only one day after Capital One took over HSBC Bank's credit card division.
The local layoffs are the ripple effect of even more drastic cuts in Salinas, California - where Capital One is closing the former HSBC facility, and laying off 850 workers.
A Capital One spokeswoman was quick to tell News 4, this isn't a reflection on the employees' job performance. She calls it a "difficult business decision" that executives made "thoughtfully and carefully," with the "long-term goals" of Capital One in mind.
The move does not affect the 3,000 people who work in HSBC's downtown Buffalo tower and atrium.
Senator Charles Schumer called the company's U.S. CEO on Tuesday, asking her to keep those jobs in Buffalo. Schumer did not return our calls Wednesday evening, but he told The Buffalo News he's "optimistic" HSBC will "remain a huge presence in Buffalo for years to come."
But with First Niagara already taking over HSBC's western New York branches, and Capital One swallowing up its personal credit card division, others fear the bank will pack up and leave Buffalo, when the tower lease runs out in 2013.
A spokesman for HSBC would not comment, on the layoffs or the bank's future in Buffalo. Capital One is offering these 80 local workers either severance, or the chance to relocate and fill other job openings within the company.
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